Mini reviews of Television seasons old and new. No fuss. No spoilers. Occasional bunnies.

Friday, January 1, 2016

Bad Influence! (1992-96)

My first thought was, 'Who let Andy Crane out of the broom cupboard?', but he did an okay job on his feet, showing an admirable amount of enthusiasm in the presenter role. His co-host of the show is Violet Berlin, which is a name that most UK folks who were into gaming back in the 90s will recognise.

It wasn't as good as the similarly themed GamesMaster (1992-98) series that aired on a rival channel, but Bad Influence!'s focus was broader.

It states on Wiki that the show was like a 'Tomorrow's World' for kids, which is an observation I agree with. Of course, it means nothing if you don't already know what kind of a show Tomorrow's World was. In both cases, new technology that was either still under development, in the testing phase or already on the market was showcased in an easy to understand way that didn't compromise the scientific nature or importance of the product. Features were either in the studio or on location and showed the presenter(s) getting hands-on with the new tech.

The techy stuff was cool, but the main focus was Video Games, Consoles and Home Computers. By 1992 the 16 bit consoles had taken a strong hold, but CD-based options were appearing. It's fun to look back and see how things like the Panasonic branded '3DO Interactive Multiplayer' and the 'Phillips CD-i' were heralded as the next big thing, when in fact they were the next big failures.

Interestingly, product reviews even included third-party devices, such as the kind that enabled gamers to circumvent copy protection on cartridges, allowing for import carts to be played on UK machines. The friendly warning that the use of such gray area products voided your warranty seemed more like a necessary addition to keep the team on the right side of the law than anything else.

The competitions were mostly amazing; in one episode they even gave away a Neo Geo with games! In the UK at the time, a Neo Geo was like the Holy Grail - in fact, it was better, because you can't play Metal Slug on the Holy Grail.

57 episodes, approx 20 minutes each.

3 super-fast datablasts out of 5